How we increased the revenue of an e-commerce by 63% by changing only one fold
If you own or manage an e-commerce, you have probably made hundreds of changes in the various pages of your online store. And I understand your frustration when you say:
“I’ve changed a million things, and my conversion rate is still the same.”
In this case study, you will understand how to implement strategic changes in your e-commerce pages to optimize the rate of visitors who convert, increasing your revenue dramatically. As long as:
- The changes are made by specialists;
- The changes are justified by diagnoses that identified what is stifling your conversion rates;
- The changes are tested through specialized software, statistically proving that the changes increased:
- The number of transactions;
- The number of purchases per transaction;
- The average ticket;
- The total revenue;
- Or all of the above.
“Making changes to websites without testing them scientifically is highly irresponsible. This kind of attitude is one of the greatest villains to e-commerce stores that never take off—ones that lose more and more sales to their competitors every day. Companies that do not begin to invest in Conversion Optimization will not be able to compete in the online Brazilian market in a short period of time.”
(Rafael Damasceno, Co-founder of Supersonic)
If you do not scientifically test the changes you make on your site, checking if they lead to better results than previous versions, you’ve probably been losing money daily for a while without knowing why. And maybe you (or the manager of your e-commerce) have made one of the worst possible decisions to compensate for your losses: invest more in SEO, online media campaigns or other ways of generating traffic. Please contact us and we’ll explain why this decision is statistically costing your business too much.
About the company that increased its revenue by 63%
RS1 is the greatest vertical e-commerce for motorcycle products in Brazil. The company contacted Supersonic in a strategic moment, when it was going through joint ventures and projecting aggressive profit goals for 2015.
How we discovered the problems
Supersonic’s exclusive methodology is called Supernova™. It includes more than 400 actions focused on finding and solving problems that cause daily losses to websites.
When we performed heuristic diagnoses on RS1’s e-commerce to understand which bottlenecks were stifling conversion rates, dozens of problems surfaced. However, in this case study we will review only four—the ones that justified running the test that increased revenue by 63%.
Problem #1: Highly dense information on the homepage
Through Google Analytics, we identified that the homepage was the primary access page to the site, representing the entry point for almost 30% of all visitors.
Besides that, the conversion rate for users who accessed the homepage was 248% higher compared to users who did not access it.
Despite being a valuable conversion shortcut for the e-commerce, the homepage showed a significant level of noise. This is a technical term used by specialists in Conversion Optimization to define an online atmosphere that causes anxiety in the user by offering too much information or too many possible actions at the same time.
In RS1’s case, 27 clickable items fought for the user’s attention in the first few seconds after accessing the homepage. In other words, a page that was supposed to guide users (after all, it was the main landing page on the site) was doing the opposite—creating noise and anxiety.
Insight #1: We needed to reduce the informational density by eliminating secondary content. This would help identify which content had a greater power of conversion.
Problem #2: Baixo nível de orientação na homepage
Mapas de calor gerados pela ferramenta Crazy Egg mostraram que havia uma concentração desproporcional de interação na categoria “capacetes” e nos links “Minha conta” e “Meus Pedidos”, no menu superior. Esses fenômenos eram esperados, uma vez que capacetes são os produtos mais procurados na RS1 e usuários retornantes desejam naturalmente acessar dados de perfil e pedidos em andamento.
Porém, havia outros recursos que poderiam ajudar o usuário a encontrar o que ele procurava, como a busca interna, mas que eram pouco utilizados.
Aprofundando nossa análise, estudamos as informações disponíveis no Google Analytics da RS1 e descobrimos que a taxa de conversão de usuários que interagiam com a barra de pesquisa do site era 161% superior em relação aos que não interagiam.
Insight #2: We needed to increase the rate of interaction with the internal search, since Google Analytics pointed this resource out as highly effective for conversions.
Problem #3: Low access rate to product pages
One of the steps in Supersonic’s exclusive methodology is designing the target audience’s Journey of Conversion. This task has the purpose of mapping out all the actions performed by a user to carry out a conversion. It also follows up with the user later to work on post-conversion strategies—conversions generated from other conversions, creating a multiplier effect on the ROI.
The steps the visitor must navigate are identified by our experts and strategically placed along the 5 phases that make up the structural base of the consumer’s decision-making process:
- Problem recognition
- Search process
- Evaluating alternatives
- Selection stage (purchase)
- Evaluation of decision (post-purchase)
In RS1’s case, as we designed the e-commerce’s Journey of Conversion, we identified that the users needed to carry out 26 different actions, from the beginning until the end of their purchasing experience. And, if we should associate at least one conversion rate for each action we request from the user, we had dozens of metrics in our work’s radius of influence.
Once we ran a thorough analysis of each of these actions, we found a critical rate:
Insight #3: Only 18% of the new visitors (those who needed guidance the most) accessing the e-commerce were able to get to a product page.
Problema #4: No credibility being communicated on the homepage
One of the major weapons of conversion is communicating authority and credibility. When visiting an e-commerce, one of the crucial questions a consumer asks himself is:
Why should I buy the product I want here instead of in any other online store?
I can safely say that most Brazilian e-commerces cannot give a convincing answer to this question, neither on the homepage nor in any other page.
Despite being a top of mind e-commerce in its niche, RS1 did not have strategically placed content communicating that credibility—which took years to build—on its homepage right off the bat:
The company was consolidated as the largest online store with products for bikers in Brazil, and it had the the “Loja Ouro E-Bit” seal, a national award that rewards credibility. However, hundreds of thousands of visitors came and went from the site with no knowledge of these highlights. Can you imagine the weight of this information in the decision-making process of a consumer who is visiting the store for the first time? Or perhaps in the process of evaluating alternatives, seeking the best option to purchase the product he wants?
Insight #4: We needed to communicate the RS1’s credibility and authority above the fold on the homepage. Then, during the first few seconds of a visit, users would know they were about to buy from one of the most reliable, experienced, and biker-approved companies in Brazil.
How we developed the solution
After identifying the problems that could be affecting RS1’s revenue, we met as a team of experts and came up with 3 versions for the homepage. They were going to be tested against the original version.
IMPORTANT: None of the content positioned beneath the promotions carousel suffered any changes..
Alternative 1 (created by Supersonic):
Alternative 2 (created by Supersonic):
*The only difference between alternatives 2 and 1 was including the highlights bar under the categories menu.
Alternative 3 (created by Supersonic):
*The only difference between alternatives 3 and 2 was including the “Support” button at the top.
The experiment had 4 objectives, each of which was worked on through specific solutions:
How was it worked on?
1) To reduce the density of information (including promotions) in the first fold, directing the user’s gaze and helping him identify the most important elements for conversion in the first seconds of the visit
– We removed the “Loja Ouro E-Bit” seal that was next to the logo; ;
– We removed the internal search bar from the top;
– We removed the button “Have you registered?” as well as the CTA “Welcome to RS1;
– We removed the “Support” button in alternatives 1 and 2;
– We removed the highlights bar (placed above the promotions carousel) in alternative 1;
– We removed the promotions carousel;
– We used the space at the top to communicate one of the main features that sets RS1 apart—free shipping—with textual imagery. Images are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text.
2) To increase the rate of interaction with the internal search, since Google Analytics pointed it out as an important tool for conversion.
– We structured the internal search bar as the main feature in the fold;
– We replaced the search bar text “Type here” with “What are you looking for?”;
– We inserted the CTA “Search” next to the internal search bar, replacing the magnifying glass icon.
3) To increase the number and/or quality of access to the product pages.
– We positioned the internal search bar as a key element in the fold because we knew it had more advanced features to help users find items they were looking for. Navigation by category required more links and exposed the user to a greater number of distractions.
4) To establish RS1’s credibility and authority in the first seconds of a user’s access to the homepage.
– We inserted the headline “Find the item you need in Brazil’s greatest motorcycle e-commerce” for internal search. In this case, in addition to communicating RS1’s credibility and authority, the headline worked as a call to action that drew back to one of our main goals: increasing usage of the internal search bar;
– We inserted the “Loja Ouro E-Bit” seal next to the CTA, the brightest element in the fold, along with the text, “RS1 was elected ‘Loja Ouro E-Bit’ by the bikers of Brazil.”. This statement made it clear that the seal was awarded by people who had had a purchasing experience with the e-commerce.
The results of the test that increased RS1’s revenue by 63%
Google Analytics showed that the internal search was a conversion lever—those who used the internal search feature converted 161 times more. So when we designed our alternatives, our primary objective was to increase the visitors’ interaction with this valuable navigational element.
According to Optimizely, the tool we used to monitor the experiment, all three alternatives we created optimized user interaction with the internal search. Alternatives 1 and 2 achieved 98% and 96% statistic reliability, respectively:
But increasing internal search interaction was just the beginning of our mission. The final objective of the test was to increase the e-commerce’s revenue. For example, if there was an increase in interaction with the internal search and a decline in sales and revenue, we might conclude that the search results provide an inefficient experience from a conversion standpoint.
However, in RS1’s case we observed the exact opposite. Alternative 1, which did not show the highlights bar or the “Support” button at the top, was the hypothesis that most influenced an increase in revenue, with statistical reliability of 99%:
When a hypothesis wins a test, showing statistical significance, it is essential that it immediately go live and replace the original version. And that’s what RS1 did.
After this experiment, we noticed a profound evolution in the e-commerce’s business methodology: the development of a culture focused on Web Analytics and testing. This kind of maturing is what Supersonic’s consulting team wishes for all of its clients. It is the management model that the fastest-growing companies around the world are adopting in order to grow with more speed and more safety.
We are living in a time when the e-commerce market is splitting into two types of companies:
1) Those that run daily tests to increase the number of visitors who become buyers;
2) Those that do not perform any tests and are stuck with the same conversion rates, being forced to spend more and more to generate traffic and not sink into debt.
If your competitors have already begun to invest in Conversion Optimization, and you haven’t yet, it’s possible they are already intercepting customers who could be yours. If neither you nor your competitors invest in Conversion Optimization, you’re missing a great opportunity to speed ahead in this race.
It is a matter of deciding quickly to profit more. There is always a choice.
Want to find out if your e-commerce is ready to begin a Conversion Optimization program? Talk to our sales team